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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

OXFORD, Miss. - After leading the NCAA in penalties last season, UF had looked better through the first three weeks of the season. The Gators were only averaging a little two penalties per quarter through the first three games.

But after Saturday?s slim 30-24 victory against Ole Miss Saturday, those issues came flooding back. No. 3 UF (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) finished with a whopping 14 penalties for 127 yards in the win, and the Gators had just 28 penalties coming into Saturday. Coach Urban Meyer called the amount of penalties Bawful.C

Last season UF had 116 penalties for 888 yards, and some of the ones on Saturday had heads shaking and bad memories returning.

After wide receiver Louis Murphy snagged a 37-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow, Murphy broke into the Gator Chomp. Soon thereafter there was a lag lying in front of him for unsportsmanlike conduct

BA big one was after the score when (Murphy) clapped his hands,C Meyer said. BThat?s just one. Thirteen other ones are ones that we got to get cleared up.C

Apparently the Gator Chomp is not a welcomed addition outside of Gainesville.

BI was shocked,C Murphy said. BI didn?t know they through a flag until I went to the sidelines. I guess we can?t do the Gator Chomp in Ole Miss. (The coaches) were like, 'That?s all you did?? I didn?t know they would throw a flag for that.C

Even on their normally consistent offensive line, the Gators had five flags pulled on their most experienced group.

BWe just had a (bad) day,C guard Jim Tartt said. BWe couldn?t stop. It?s just stupid mistakes.C

The penalties really stung UF when several Percy Harvin runs were called back. Harvin still finished 120 yards of total offense, but there were several big chunks that he missed out on with the call-backs.

BIt?s frustrating when he?s trying to do everything he can, and then he turns around and there are flags,C receiver David Nelson said. BThat?s tough.C

However, UF was also lucky on the penalty front when the Rebels had the ball with just less than five minutes in the game and a chance to take the lead with a touchdown and a PAT. But two false starts on Corey Actis stalled the Ole Miss offense and the Gators stopped a fake punt play three yards short of a first down on 4th-and-11.

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BI saw the kicker rolling out like he was going to kick it and he rolled back around like he was going to pass,C said defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, who made the 4th-down tackle. BI just started running toward the guy.C

With an 11:30 a.m. kickoff time, there wasn?t much time for these young guns to realize what they were walking into. While many of the new freshmen - especially on defense - made strides in last week?s 59-20 demolishing of Tennessee, the road atmosphere did affect them.

BIt was a circus at that hotel this morning,C Meyer said. BIt was everything but giraffes and elephants running around. It was loud - curtains getting thrown open and orange juice and newspapers.C

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